This degree program provides students with knowledge in the fields of molecular biology, cell biology, and genetics.

Degree Benefits:

  • Microbiologists generate an annual median income of $84,400*
  • Job growth outlook for Microbiologists is 5%*

Career Options Include:

  • Laboratory Technician
  • Research Specialist
  • Biology Teacher
  • Research Specialist

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Microbiologists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/microbiologists.htm (visited March 24, 2022).

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Generally speaking, most bachelor’s degrees in Molecular Biology take approximately four years for full-time students to complete. Traditional programs usually consist of 120 credit hours of coursework, or approximately 40 college courses. It is important to note that some institutions offer accelerated degree programs, often designed to help students earn a bachelor’s and master’s Molecular Biology degree simultaneously and in less time. Some high schools also offer college credit for certain courses, which can shorten the graduation timeframe.


It is important to realize, however, that students enrolled part-time are unlikely to graduate within four years. Those taking only a few classes per semester typically graduate within five to eight years.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.


When you know that you want to major in Molecular Biology, you should find out if the colleges and universities you’re most interested in carry this major. You should check the academic catalogs of each university to verify which ones do carry an Molecular Biology major and verify with your state’s department of education that the colleges you’re considering offer the appropriate Molecular Biology education program you need for your field.


If a university you’re considering doesn’t carry a Molecular Biology major, then it’s time to cross that school off your list. Keep checking the other schools. For those that do have an Molecular Biology major, begin looking over their programs so you get a better idea which university interests you the most.

The two most prominent types of bachelor levels in Molecular Biology are: Bachelor of Arts degree (BA degree) and a Bachelor of Science degree (BS degree). A BA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about Molecular Biology. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.


The Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Bachelor of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Bachelor’s degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Bachelor of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for a Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biology below:

  • Advanced Molecular Biology
  • Fundamentals of Molecular Evolution
  • Genetic Analysis of Biological Processes
  • Developmental Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cellular Immunology
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Cellular Dynamics
  • Plant Genetics
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Human Physiology
  • Neural Systems and Behavior

Only 41% of students actually manage to finish their Molecular Biology degree on time. There are a variety of factors that could potentially play a part in unexpectedly extending your college career, such as:


Work. Working over 25 hours per week can get in the way of academics.


Credit Hours. Most colleges will define a full course load as 12 credit hours per semester. If you do the math, you will see that you actually need to take 15 credit hours per semester in order to graduate on time.


Transferring. Many students end up transferring during their college career. Many times, there are hiccups with transferring credits. This can put you behind, or even cause you to end up losing your credits altogether.


Be aware of these common mistakes, so that you don't make them yourself.

Your school's accreditation is an important aspect of getting your Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology degree. The two most common forms of accreditation are regional and national.


Regional accreditation is the most recognized and most prestigious available. Because of this label, these colleges often have higher tuition and have more competitive admission standards. Regional accreditation accounts for over 85% of colleges across the United States. There are 6 different regions, including:

  • MSA (Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools)
  • NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges)
  • NCA (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)
  • NAC (Northwest Accreditation Commission)
  • SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools)
  • WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges)

National accreditation is less common. National accreditation agencies oversee the accreditation process for career, vocational, and trade schools across the United States. As a result, these schools tend to be less expensive, require less general coursework, and feature a more practical, career-oriented curriculum. Because it is less structured, schools are only reviewed every 3-5 years to ensure that they still meet accreditation requirements.


Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to a Molecular Biology Bachelor's degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in Molecular Biology. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today’s high-paced, technology-driven environments.


The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn’t accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a degree in Molecular Biology.

Estimates for the costs of a Molecular Biology degree run from $15,000 to $100,000 per year depending on the university and its tuition charges. Community colleges and public universities charge lower rates for in-state students than out-of-state students. The difference can be remarkable.


Based on all schools and all majors, some estimates that can help guide the student. Data from the College Board and the NCES provide ranges for costs that add tuition, living expenses, and fees into price ranges. Based on 2017 data, the costs of a four-year degree at a public school is in the range of $85,000 for in-state students, $150,000 for out-of-state students, and $190,000 for private school students. When projected to the year 2019 through 2020 one can anticipate an increase in the area of three to four percent. These prices seem high of course and in many cases most students are not paying the full amount of tuition because they are receiving financial aid. When applying to the school of your choice also reach out to them to discuss scholarship and grant opportunities to help pay for your Molecular Biology education.

If your university offers career and/or placement services, you’ll be able to take advantage of both as a student or graduate. You can receive career counseling, career assessments, and resume reviews, where you’ll learn how to spruce your resume up. It is important to research if your potential college has post career placement assistance. This demonstrates that the college or university Molecular Biology program is with you from start to finish.